Teen handed himself into police after city centre robbery

The courthouse at Bishop Street, Derry.
The courthouse at Bishop Street, Derry.

A teenager who robbed a city centre shop handed himself into police a week later.

Derry Crown Court heard that if 18-years-old Dillon Quigley hadn’t confessed to the robbery, police would have had great difficulty in catching him.

Quigley, of Dove Gardens, pleaded guilty to the robbery of Samara’s, Shipquay Street, on November 29, last year.

The teen also admitted possessing an offensive weapon with intent to commit an offence, namely a knife.

The court heard that the robbery of Samara’s was reported to police at around 11:30 p.m.

The shop assistant told the officers she had been totalling the till when a male entered the stop and demanded money.

He had his face covered and was in possession of knife.

The male grabbed a bag of change from the shop assistant, containing around £100, and attempted to take further cash from the till.

However, the famle shop assistant struggled and managed to get the till shut.

On December 7, eight days after the robbery, Quigley handed himself into Strand Road Police Station and admitted responsiblity.

He gave an account of his movements before the robbery, which police subsequently checked on CCTV and told officers where to find the knife and the money bag.

Quigley admitted he planned the robbery and had bought the knife five days before.

However, he claimed he carried the knife down the front of his trousers and didn’t intend to harm the shop assistant with it.

The defendant also told police he carried out the robbery because he owed money to a drug dealer.

It was revealed to the court that Quigley has a previous conviction for robbery and possessing an offensive weapon.

The court also heard the teen had apologised to the shop assistant for the incident and this apology was accepted.

Defence counsel Eoghan Devlin told the court Quigley had ‘effectively solved the crime for the police’.

He added that around the time of the robbery his client was a regular user of Cannabis and was also ‘consuming the drugs of choice in this city - Xanax and Diazepam - and the effects they have are profound’.

Passing Sentence, Judge Philip Babington said ‘the courts will protect small businesses. There are many here in the north west and the community very much rely upon them.’

He added that shop assistants would be ‘terrified if someone threatens their safety and produces a knife.’

Judge Babington said he was prepated to take an exceptional course and suspended a two year sentence for two years. He also ordered the teen to pay £100 compensation.